Recently, there has been a renewed focus on analyzing post-Soviet memory, including the rekindling of debate on contemporary perspectives of Josef Stalin. Most notably, the publication of The Stalin Puzzle has helped bring attention to the persistence of positive accounts and admiration, along with ambivalent and contested images, of the former dictator of the Soviet Union. Using survey data and multivariate statistical methods, we test five broad hypotheses – socialization, structural, ideological, nationalist, and gender – to ascertain what factors might shape people's attitudes toward Stalin in Georgia. Our analysis reveals that elderly, poor men from rural areas have the most positive associations of Stalin, whereas young, wealthier women from cities, those who are open to privatization, and perceive Russia as Georgia's biggest threat judge Stalin negatively. Counterintuitively, non-Georgian minorities show higher esteem for Stalin than Georgians. We envision that the effects of cohort replacement, economic development, and urbanization will decrease positive perceptions of Stalin in years to come.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/1060586X.2014.940697, hdl.handle.net/1765/120691
Journal Post-Soviet Affairs
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Citation
Gugushvili, A, & Kabachnik, P. (2015). Stalin is dead, long live Stalin? Testing socialization, structural, ideological, nationalist, and gender hypotheses. Post-Soviet Affairs, 31(1), 1–36. doi:10.1080/1060586X.2014.940697